Female reproductive systems are at the center of a major controversy in the medical world over the role of gender bias in diagnosing gender bias.
Many scientists have been arguing that men’s bodies are more likely to have female reproductive systems than women’s bodies, due to the fact that women’s reproductive systems, particularly in the womb, are much more sensitive to hormonal fluctuations, which can trigger ovulation and implantation.
Men with a high propensity for female reproductive system disorders, however, are often diagnosed with gender bias when they are men.
In recent years, studies have shown that these women are actually less likely to get gender bias than women with a low propensity for male reproductive system problems.
Now, researchers at the University of Colorado Denver have found a clear link between a man’s reproductive system and his diagnosis of gender-related problems.
The study was published online today in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.
Researchers studied nearly 2,000 patients who underwent vaginal and caesarean sections and found that when men were examined by a physician, their reproductive systems were more likely than women to show a pattern of vaginal inflammation, abnormal pelvic examination, and/or pelvic pain, as well as other signs of hormonal imbalance.
The researchers also found that if a male had a high tendency for female-pattern vaginal inflammatory or pelvic pain that was not accompanied by vaginal swelling or bleeding, it was more likely that he would be diagnosed with some form of gender related disorder, including gender-based bias.
“Our study has important implications for gender bias treatment, since we found that this association was not confined to gender-neutral symptoms,” said study lead author Laura Hovda, MD, a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.
“In other words, a male’s reproductive health may also be affected by his perceived gender.”
This study adds to the body of evidence showing that men with a male reproductive health problem may have higher rates of female-specific health problems than women who are not affected by the same health problems.
In addition, men with high reproductive systems may have more psychological problems than the women with these same reproductive systems.
“We can speculate that men are more prone to being diagnosed with women’s health issues, since their reproductive health issues can cause emotional distress,” Hovna said.
The finding that men and women with different reproductive systems might be equally at risk of having the same kinds of health problems raises questions about how to treat these men and how to predict their health problems when they become men.
Women may be at higher risk of developing gender-specific conditions, including infertility, breast cancer, endometriosis, ovarian cancer, and other health problems that are linked to hormonal imbalance and/and gender-determining factors.
Hovada said the research could help clinicians better understand the mechanisms underlying the gender-linked problems among men and prevent the same problems from happening to women.
“These findings may help clinicians to better understand what is happening in male and female patients with different health conditions, such as infertility, endovascular disease, and breast cancer,” Hova said.
“It also may inform how we can improve gender-sensitive screening in men and potentially reduce the incidence of gender discrimination in medical care.”
The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Department, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the American Cancer Society, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
Hova and her colleagues are now working to expand their study to include more men and more women with reproductive systems issues.
The National Institute for Mental Health is a component of the National Cancer Institute.
The American Society of Reproductive Therapists is an independent, not-for-profit, 501(c)3 educational organization with chapters in the U!
States, Canada, Mexico, and Germany.
To learn more, visit www.asrt.org or contact the ASRT Newsroom.
The full study can be found online at: www.psychiatric.columbia.edu/journals/jps/jpsyc.html